Saturday, May 21, 2011


Yes, it took PATIENCE!!

When we moved to Pennsylvania (25 years ago), Bernie planted a wisteria plant on our deck. It grew and grew and twined around the deck, but NEVER flowered UNTIL THE WEEK WE MOVED!!!!!!

One of the first plants he planted in Warren was another wisteria plant. We have been in this house for over 11 years and it FINALLY bloomed. Wanna see pics????

Patience is a beautiful thing!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Legacy

I first heard his name when his daughter, Vickie, asked us to pray for his salvation. Vickie was in my college bus division.

I first met him while going door-to-door visiting after we moved to Port Huron. He greeted us with a beer in hand and was very nice to us. We also met a VERY pregnant Beth on that day.

On April 1, 1984, he walked into our church. Someone told his wife he was there and she thought it was an April Fool's joke! It was no joke - he walked the aisle and accepted Christ.

Our Melodie was born in October of that year and we needed a babysitter. Bev and Bill became her caregivers. They took such great care of her and loved her as their own.

A few weeks ago I heard Bill had cancer. He had two treatments in Port Huron that seemed to do nothing to his cancer. I chatted with Vickie and found out that he was getting treatments at St. John's hospital in Detroit - just a short trip from our home.

Two Sunday's ago, when Bernie came to sit by me after playing the piano, I whispered to him - "We need to go see Bill Green." Knowing choir practice comes soon on Sunday afternoons, we ran home, gobbled down dinner, and drove to the hospital.

As we walked aroung the curtain in his room, he looked at us - I said, "I am Norma." He looked at both of us and said, "You have aged." That is the first time I have had someone say that to me (even though I HAVE aged!!!!). We laughed. He talked to us for at least 40 minutes and he looked great. We were so glad we went to see him.

That Friday, he went to be with his Lord. Such a sad time, but his memorial yesterday was a great testimony of a LEGACY.

I could not believe how many cars were parked at the church in Port Huron. Every business around the church had full parking lots, and the streets were packed. The church had to set up folding chairs.

Every memorial given was about the man who loved people and loved his God. He loved and served his family and his church. He had enough love for his family, extended family, and strangers. What a legacy one man left behind!

Makes me wonder . . . what will they say about you at your memorial? How many will attend? Do we only love your family? Do we treat strangers in such a way that they feel compelled to go to our memorial? Do others see your love for Christ? What legacy will you leave?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blessings . . . Blessings . . . Blessings Again!

Children really are blessings. They are blessings at birth and we (as mothers) love them so much. They get a little bigger and a little more trying, but still a blessing. Then the teen years - BLESSINGS!! Actually, my girls were a blessing as teens.

We only have one chance to raise our children. I had great examples as parents. I find it hard to express to my parents how much I love them. I tell them often and write to them . . . they are just so special to me and I am so thankful to still have them in my life.

Yesterday, Anna sent me tulips at work.

Aren't they beautiful? We had a "date" last night, too, and enjoyed talking. I also received a call from Melodie last night. I am so thankful for the time I was able to put into my girls. What a blessing they are today. They have honored their parents and have made them very proud. I feel so blessed to have great relationships with my children.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Cha Cooking Now?

My friend and fellow blogger, Erika, usually blogs about recipes she makes.  Well, Erika this one is for you!  A few weeks ago, my dad gave Bernie some freshly picked lemons from Arizona.  I searched for a lemon pie recipe and found this one:

1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
Freshly grated lemon peel (LOTS)
1/4 c. (or more) lemon juice
1/4 c. butter
3 egg yolks
1 c. milk
Combine sugar and cornstarch.  Add other ingredients and microwave in 1 minute increments until thick, whisking after each minute.  Cool.  Add 1 c. sour cream (I used light).  Put in pre-baked pie shell.  Enjoy!!

This weekend, we had 2 very ripe bananas.  Since our banana "hater" was not home, I decided to make banana pancakes.  My mom makes pancake batter and adds sliced bananas.  I found this recipe:


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed


  1. Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
  2. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.
I hardly ever add salt to a recipe - and I would leave the sugar out next time.  The bananas make it very sweet. 

Erika (and her mom) will ask where the pics are . . . maybe next time!

Now, THAT is Shappy Living!!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

REALLY, Mom, POKEY Made Me Do It!

I received many blessings on my recent trip to California - and I am still receiving them!  As I have mentioned before, within an hour of landing in Ontario, Larry and Pokey had me in a Joann's store.  It was here where I saw my first glimpse into Pokey's heart.  As she was checking out, she asked me if I had a "green" Joann's bag.  I did not, so she let me pick out one and bought it for me. 

On our last day together, we did a little shopping and site-seeing.  Our first stop was L & M Fabrics.  Almost as soon as we entered, I saw a fabric I had seen years ago in a boutique in Illinois - and I loved!  I did not buy it (I wasn't sure Bernie would approve  :/ ).  We spent some time in the store before Pokey was ready to check out.   When we returned home, she had purchased some of that fabric for me, a ruler, and some other beautiful fabric.  A giving heart . . .

Today, I put the fabric on two pillowcases for my sister and Mom - Mom just got out of the hospital yesterday and I am going to see her on Monday.  Yes, Mom . . .  Pokey made me do it!!!!
Pokey also encouraged me to make Valentine bookmarkers for ladies at church . . .
(Mine weren't as cute as hers!)

One of the most special blessings has been her phone calls.  If she ever thinks I am having a tough time, my phone will ring and we will talk and talk.  Pokey has a very giving and loving spirit and it is balm to the soul.   Proverbs 27:17 . . .  Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

P.S.  If that verse is not right . . . it is partially because I have literally typed this post 16 times!!!!!  My computer keeps going out and I have to re-type it!  The only way it is this far is I am saving it often!

P.S.S.  Yes, I hate blogging (as tears are being wiped away).

P.S.S.S.  Hey, Erika and Linda - I have pics this time!!!!!!

Friends who care . . . now that is Shappy Living!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have a Happy Lunch . . .

I have an hour lunch at work.  Since Bernie and I normally ride together to work, I can't go anywhere special.  I started walking for 30 minutes on my lunch hour when I went full time a few years ago.  Then, I switched the time of my lunch and started walking with Joleen every day . . . unless it is raining, extremely cold, or slippery. 

Last year, we had a snow ball fight with 2 other ladies.  We were on opposite sides of the street - then a police car came by . . . they stopped and we made them smile.  After we got back one day, I decided to stay and make a snow bunny or two.  The next day, I added some babies, and every day for a few days, they "multiplied".  It was so fun to see the people leaving work, look at the bunnies and smile or laugh. 

Although this year, we have had a LOT of snow, it has not been a good packing snow . . . until last week.  After my walk, I stayed and made 11 adult snow bunnies and put them on the bench outside our building.  I was surprised how many people walked on by and did not notice them.  Then, I began hearing stories of people in the elevator talking about them, and others taking pictures of them.  One day, three of them were moved off the bench and put up on the ledge.  It looked as if someone needed to sit on the bench. 

It became "warm" here last week . . .  and the bunnies melted.  But ALAS!  We got another 7-9 inches Sunday and it LOOKED like a good packing snow.  So, yesterday, Joleen brought items to make a snowman.  We put him in the flower/tree box area and we made him laying down (since the snow did not pack well).  He is really cute . . .  the new snow bunnies would not pack well, so he lays alone in the box.  .  Again, we see people smile as they walk by.

Yesterday, after we made our snowman, my director asked me where we made the snowman.  I told her at the front entrance . . . she said, "I wished it was where I could see it from my office."  Then I got to thinking . . . and I enlisted Joleen and Savita's help.  I noticed that the building across from the office was vacant and the parking lot had a LOT of snow that was not plowed.  My plan began . . .

Today, at lunch the 3 Musketeers headed outdoors.  On the way, we grabbed some branches.  I brought Jell-O.  We "stomped" the shape of a snowman (total length about 10 or so yards) in the snow.  You know . . . snow line on the bottom, a large circle, medium circle, head circle, and hat - like a cornfield.  We placed the sticks for arms and spread the Jell-O for the scarf.  We stomped and stomped the face, buttons, etc.  Then we went into the building to look at our handiwork.

In the elevator, we met the maintenance man who had pictures of ALL our creations on his cell phone!  We showed our director and her boss the snowman and it looks GREAT from the 5th floor!  The entire suite loved the snowman and there were smiles and laughs all afternoon.

Anna says we act like a bunch of elementary children . . . well, we all are children at heart!  Besides, I enjoy making people smile . . .

Shappy living is for us and OTHERS.  Live Happy and share it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why I Hate Blogging . . .

Why, you ask?  The last two posts I spent more time crying than typing.  And I had to get up a get a Kleenex several times!  That is just me.  This is the same reason I don't share everything on my heart verbally . . . I feel it, but know I will cry if I articulate it!  My dad always told me that is because I am like him . . .  soft hearted.

I want to tell everyone how important things are to me, but the tears start even when I don't think I should be crying!   I think I am okay, then the tears start.  And if you know me, once they start, they are hard to stop!!!  And the red, blotchy face!!!!  I would just rather not go there . . .

But blogging is a bit different.  I can cry and no one can tell . . . my face can get blotchy and no one knows . . . I can blow my nose and no one hears it . . . HEY!  Maybe I LOVE blogging!!!!!!!